Called "an intimate portrait of passion, betrayal and international espionage," The English Bride, by New Jersey playwright Lucile Lichtblau, will make its World Premiere* at the professional Centenary Stage Company April 5-21 in the Lackland Center in Hackettstown.
Play by Lucile Lichtblau
Winner of the SUSAN GLASPELL 2011 AWARD
ROLLING WORLD PREMIERE!
Inspired by a real-life, failed bombing attempt on an El Al flight out of London in the early years of terrorism, The
English Bride is a compelling mystery centered around an interrogation of Englishwoman, Eileen Finney and the Arab
man with whom she has fallen in love, Ali Said. As the story of their unlikely relationship unfolds, a tangled web of
love, lies, and confessions is revealed, causing the viewer to question who was using whom when the dust settles. Theatre
critic Toby Zinman stated, "The
English Bride requires …a willingness to face the fact that the truth is only knowable part of the time.
A lesson the play will teach us." The CSC production will be directed by Carl Wallnau.
The English Bride is winner of the 2011 Susan Glaspell Award, and it has been nominated for the prestigious Steinberg Award of the American Theatre Critics Association. The play received development in the annual CSC Women Playwrights Series, and is part of the first "Rolling World Premiere*" collaboration initiated by the Centenary Stage Company, an affiliate member of the National New Play Network. In addition to a "partner production" at the Theatre Exile in Philadelphia, The
English Bride will be performed at 59E59 Theatre in New York City in October, 2013.
Helpful Links: The English Bride- At 59E59 Theater in NYC Oct. 23 - Nov. 13, 2013 59E59
Theater - Online Tickets / 59E59 Theater Ticketing The English Bride- [This page] At Centenary Stage Company in April 2013
Select any image for closer view
and arrow through larger images
Amy Griffin as "Eileen" and Michael
Gabriel Goodfriend as "Ali"
Ezra Barnes as "Dov," Amy Griffin as
"Eileen," and Michael Gabriel Goodfriend as "Ali"
Michael Gabriel Goodfriend as "Ali"
Ezra Barnes as "Dov," Michael Gabriel
Goodfriend as "Ali," and Amy Griffin
Photos by Bob Eberle
"An Exceptionally Smart and Rewarding Thriller About the Mossad, a Would-be Israeli Arab Terrorist, and his English Bride."
"...constitute in its entirety the extraordinarily lucid and insightful new one-act espionage thriller The English Bride."
"...author Lucille Lichtblau provides us with a brilliant lesson in interrogation tactics which is worthy of inclusion in the training manuals of Homeland Security."
"...a complex and extraordinarily convincing portrait of three troubled and troubling individuals who have inexorably gotten themselves into a maelstrom..."
"...humanely explores the motivations that can turn someone into a terrorist... doesn't for a moment even contemplate the foul notion that there is
anything remotely resembling moral equivalency..."
"Director Carl Wallnau has starkly and intimately staged the play on three small squares... wisely has his three actors on stage throughout the play..."
"...Ezra Barnes... intonation of Lichtblau's dialogue in Hebrew-accented English is most compelling."
"Michael Gabriel Goodfriend perfectly captures the self justifying, guarded and manipulative ways of a victimizer who, certainly at some level, is also a victim."
"Amy Griffin exquisitely limns Eileen... fully engages our sympathies without overtly striving to do so."
"...dimensional and involving characters, each one of who is worthy of his or her own play. So, we should be more than grateful that Centenary
Stage Company has brought them to us together in The English Bride."
"...I had a tear in my eye as a result of having felt the potentially transformative power of The English Bride's truth and intelligence." Bob
Rendell, Talking Broadway Regional News and Reviews [Full
"Outstanding new play at Centenary Stage Company"
"...a truly outstanding, compelling tale of love, hate and deceit combined in the dark world of international
"...remarkable, well written play, inspired by a real-life failed bombing attempt..."
"After a run at Centenary Stage, Wallnau's excellent production will move with cast and crew to Manhattan
in October, 2013."
"Author Lucile Lichtblau tells us that her play is a study 'not of truth, but lies. The lies we tell others
as well as the lies we tell ourselves, or more to the
point, the lies we need to tell ourselves.' She adds, 'People
often want to do what is right but many times, when what is right is also difficult or painful,
they often fail
to do it.'"
"The three actors (Equity members all) are marvelous... creating characters that somehow earn our sympathy
within this massive web of deceit."
"Amy Griffin is perfect as Eileen the sad, tragic figure... who believed she was on her way to getting married.
"Michael Gabriel Goodfriend is throughly convincing as the Arab who loves Eileen or does he?"
"Ezra Barnes is absolutely spot-on as the Israeli interrogator with a very effective non-threatening style."
"This superior, thought-provoking drama is beautifully acted, staged and written, in other words, a must-see-event.
Book early since the Kutz Black Box
theater is smaller than Centenary's main stage... Ample free parking..."
"In addition to a 'partner production' at the Theatre Exile in Philadelphia, the CSC production of The English
Bride—directed by Carl Wallnau—will be
performed at 59E59 Theatre in New York City in October, 2013."
"CSC’s MEET THE PLAYWRIGHT Talk-back series... audiences will have an opportunity to meet with this
Steinberg Award Nominee after the show." Rick
Busciglio, New Jersey Footlights [Full
"...director Carl Wallnau first read "The English Bride" more than three years ago, he was so
impressed, he knew... [Centenary Stage Company] would
have to do it."
"'The English Bride' is a compelling mystery ... a tangled web of love, lies and confessions is revealed,
causing the viewer to question who is
using whom." Outwater quotes Carl Wallnau:
"On one level this is a whodunit... more interesting is that it is a character study of these three people
and an examination of their motives."
"you aren't certain who they really are and you realize that the truth is never simple."
"...the playwright is 78 years old, you would think it was written by someone in their late 20s... rip-roaring
drama, a roller coaster ride into suspense,
and a yarn that is also weirdly funny."
"This script is on the cusp of being discovered so he is giving it its world premiere Friday through April
"... will soon be showing up all around the country..."
"Wallnau says he is bringing the play to the 59E59 Theatre, where it is scheduled to open in October." Myra
Special to the Morning Call [Full Review]
"The beauty of it [the play] is that the story is cleanly told, straightforward and mostly chronologically,
with flashbacks clearly indicated."
"...we’re left scratching our heads. About motive, blame and the reality of love. And that’s what
makes the play so effective and so real."
'Director Carl Wallnau has kept this production tight and straight to the point."
"The three actors are simply a wonderful ensemble, playing off each other beautifully."
"...with the help of Lichtblau’s terrific dialogue..."
"A special nod should go to Dudley Knight... Dialect Director.. three different dialects (and doing them convincingly),
Knight deserves a bouquet." Sheila
Abrams, nj arts maven
About The Playwright
Author Lucile Lichtblau is a graduate of Yale Drama School, where she received an MCA Playwriting Fellowship. In addition to Theatre Exile in Philadelphia, Lichtblau’s work has been produced by The Manhattan Theatre Source, The Vital Theatre, and The Hudson Opera House, among others. Her play CAR TALK had its world premiere in 2009 at Stageworks, in Hudson, NY. Her play "Urban Legend" won the Pandora Box Production’s New Play Festival, and her new play "Hemings Diary" received development at Luna Stage, and in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, where it was nominated for the Weissberger Award, given annually by the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Lichtblau also adapted the classic Dickens tale titled A CHRISTMAS CAROL, ABRIDGED and RIP, a fun-filled adaptation of Washington Irving’s "Rip Van Winkle" for Stageworks.
Cast Ezra Barnes will play the Israeli Mossad agent, “Dov,” who attempts to sort out the tangled story of romance and terrorism. CSC audiences will remember Ezra Barnes from his appearance in the 2011 production of Breakfast with Mugabe, a political thriller inspired by the controversial reign of Zimbabwe’s autocratic president. Barnes has performed at regional theatres throughout the country, including the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage and Papermill Playhouse, among many. He can be seen in the CBS series Blue Bloods as Dr. Ingram, in Royal Pains, Bored to Death and several episodes of Law and Order.
Michael Gabriel Goodfriend will portray the role of Ali Said, the romantic young Arab man who proposes marriage to his English girlfriend. Actor Michael Gabriel Goodfriend is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, and has been seen at such theatres as the Pearl Theatre (NY), The Huntingon Theatre (Boston), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, and the cutting-edge Wooly Mammoth (D.C.).
Amy Griffin will portray Eileen Finney, the English working woman with a gift for story telling and a sense of humor,
who can’t believe her good luck. Amy Griffin (Eileen), performed
the role of Cherry Who in the 1st Broadway Production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Mrs. Mayor in
the 1st National Tour of Seussical the Musical with Cathy Ribgy. An award-winning graduate of the Northwestern
University theatre program, Griffin’s career also includes performances in NY in Forbidden Broadway and
at theatres such as Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum and Shaghai Shakespeare Festival (China).
About the Rolling World Premiere movement
Centenary Stage Company is an affiliate member of the National New Play Network, a national organization in residence at the Wooly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. which serves to promote and encourage the development, production and continued life of new plays. The result is a "Rolling World Premiere" through which the playwright develops a new work with multiple creative teams and theatres, for different communities of patrons, ensuring the resulting play is of the highest possible quality. And, with multiple productions in a single year, the play attains the momentum it needs to join the repertoire of frequently-produced new American works.
Centenary Stage Company is also an advocate of the "50/50 in 2020" movement, a national grassroots movement endorsed by The League of Professional Theatre Women dedicated to achieving parity for women in theatre by the hundredth anniversary of American suffrage. The organization exists to encourage and support independent initiatives that promote the acknowledgement of the contribution of women to theatre; research on the status of women in theatre; and awareness, advocacy, empowerment and change. Currently 20% of all works produced on American stages is written by women.
About the WPS
Now in its 21st season, Centenary Stage Company’s Women’s Playwright Series (WPS) is a developmental program dedicated to providing a working forum for the unique and underserved voice of women writing for the theatre today. Each season 3 new plays are selected from submissions from around the country for a collaborative workshop process, with a professional director and actors. At the end of a rehearsal period, a staged reading of the play is presented at CSC for regional audiences, giving CSC audiences larger exposure to new work, as well as offering the playwright an opportunity to get crucial feedback from the audience during the development process. The WPS program is led by Catherine Rust.
The production will run from April 5th through April 21st, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays (date night), 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:00 p. m. on Sundays and on Wednesday, April 10th. There is also a school matinee on Wednesday, April 17th at 10 am, which will be followed by a discussion with the playwright and cast. Thursdays are DATE NIGHT at CSC, with a two-for-one discount available as a "rush seat" at the door. CSC’s Meet The Playwright Talk-back series will be offered on Sunday, Apr 7th and Wednesday, Apr 17th. All performances will be in the Edith Bolte Kutz Theatre of the Lackland Center at 715 Grand Avenue.
During the college semester, Centenary College opens the special Centenary Brunch to the public
on Sundays, in the dining hall of the Lackland Center.
Serving from 11-1:30 PM, the brunch includes a traditional Breakfast Buffet, plus a Carving Station,
Deli Counter, Luncheon Entrée, and more. The Brunch is priced at only $8.25, and no advance reservations are required.
One of the most sophisticated performing arts venues in Northwest New Jersey, the David and Carol Lackland Center encompasses a 22,000-square-foot performance space, a new state-of-the-art 500-seat theatre (Sitnik Theater), a black box theater (The Edith Bolte Kutz ’42 Theater), a dance studio, scene shop, a costume shop, green room and dressing rooms. In addition to housing the theatre, the 68K square foot Lackland Center will be a home for a variety of cultural activity, and will include WNTI, the College’s listener-supported NPR Affiliate, and CCTV, Centenary’s Comcast-licensed television studio, and gallery space for visual artists.
Named in honor of Carol Burgess Lackland, A Centenary graduate (Class of 1954), and her husband, David A. Lackland, a Centenary College Trustee, The David and Carol Lackland Center has been designed to enrich student life and bring new cultural opportunities to northwest New Jersey. ...more(including photos, progress reports, and 'Tour Lackland with Carl')
The Edith Bolte Kutz Theater
Open Seating as the theatre configuration will
change depending on the event.
Tickets for the CSC production of The English Bride range from $17.50 to $27.50 with discounts for students and seniors. Tickets are available for purchase online using our Secure
by calling (908)979-0900 or in person at the Lackland Center. See full details on our 'How To Order' page.
Subscription Flex Passes:
Golden Flex Pass (all 25 events incl. Curtain Up & Family Series)
Pick Ten Flex Pass (any ten events)
Pick Seven Flex Pass (any seven events)
Pick Five (Any five events)
FLEX PASSES ARE FOR CSC EVENTS ONLY AND DO NOT INCLUDE BLUES BASH OR
NUTCRACKER. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CHOOSE FLEX PASS EVENTS IN ADVANCE.
Individual Tickets Individual Tickets are:
Theatre Plays (Except Wizard of Oz)
Matinees/Fridays Adult $25.00 Sr/Stu $22.50 Child under 12
Saturday Adult $27.50 Sr/Stu $25.00 Child under 12 $17.50
Thursday (Family Night) ALL SEATS $25.00
Wizard of Oz
Matinees/FridaysAdult $27.50 Sr/Stu $25.00 Child under 12 $20.00
Saturday Adult $29.50 Sr/Stu $27.50 Child under 12 $20.00
Thursday (Family Night) ALL SEATS $27.50
$3.50 Handling Fee on Total Individual Ticket Orders
For details and print order form, please see 'How
Season Concert/Dance Events(in advance):
Concerts and Special Events
ROBERT KLEIN Orchestra $40.00 Balcony $35.00
Orchestra plus pre-show reception $55.00
VIP $100.00 (Includes post-show reception with artist) *
Donna McKechnie ALL SEATS $35.00 Advance ($40.00 day of event)
New Jersey Ballet Adult $27.50 Sr/Stu $25.00 Child under 12 $15.00
Le Vent du Nord Adult $25.00 Sr/Stu $22.50 Child under 12 $17.50
Kathy Kosins Adult $22.50 Sr/Stu $20.00 Child under 12 $15.00
Hot Club of Detroit Adult $25.00 Sr/Stu $22.50 Child under 12 $17.50
Limited to 60 people; tickets available only via the Box Office
Limited to 50 people; Contact CSC for Workshop Details
Children under the age of 5 are not permitted into the professional CSC main stage productions.
However, they are permitted
to CSC’s Young Audience and Family
Fun Series productions for age-appropriate performances.
Patrons are encouraged to check the age recommendation
for individual shows.
ALL CONCERT TICKET PRICES ADD $5.00 DAY OF PERFORMANCE.
$3.50 Handling Fee on Total Individual Ticket Orders
For details and print order form, please see 'How To Order.'
Senior: age is 65+
Student: anyone who can prove full-time student classification (ID may be required for verification
purposes) no matter the institution (whether it's High School or College)